Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, who resigned on Saturday, was “obviously framed,” according to Bosnian Serb leader and current Chairman of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency Milorad Dodik.
Dodik met Strache last week to, as he said, inform him about the situation in Bosnia and to learn more about the upcoming European elections.
This was not the first time Dodik, a hard-line nationalist, met with the Austrian right-wing leader.
The two officials also met in February 2019 when the meeting was attended by Italy's Internal Affairs Minister Matteo Salvini, the leader of the right-wing Northern League.
“We have good cooperation and we will continue it. He was obviously framed in a frame-up. We will continue cooperating with the new structure, our relations were always good,” Dodik told a press conference on Monday, following a meeting of his SNSD party's presidency.
“It remains to be seen who decided to moderate relations in Europe in that way. I had excellent cooperation with Strache, and it is none of my business whom he sits with and talks to. It is their responsibility, their right. I think this is a 'Balkanisation' of European political situation. Something they were always trying to escape,” said Dodik.
The Vice-Chancellor resigned on Saturday over a video showing him in what appears to be an offer of government contracts to a woman, who claimed to be a Russian investor and niece of an oligarch.
This development sparked Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen to call a snap election, something that Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said was a “necessity.”